Reverence is defined as deep respect or awe. It also can mean deep admiration, amazement, or astonishment. As it is our value for December, we began talking about reverence in our Monday Chapel assembly as the respect that we should show for one another, recognizing that our Baptismal Covenant calls us to respect the dignity (and worth) of every human being. With that in mind, our students were reminded to THINK before they speak to another person, be it a friend, a teacher, a sibling, a parent, or even a stranger, as a way to show reverence. So what would it look like simply to THINK about what we are about to say to another person?
Recently, I have seen posted at school and in magazines a wonderful reminder of how we might show reverence and respect to one another in what we say and how we say it. It involves asking five simple questions, taking each letter in the word THINK. Is it True? Is it Helpful? Am I the best one to say it? Is it Necessary? And, finally, is it Kind? Of course, I realize that it is much easier to write this than to carry it into practice day in and day out, whether for adults or children. But even if we all were able to pause for just one second, to think and ask if what we’re about to say is TRUE, HELPFUL, NECESSARY, and KIND, many of our relationship issues with friends, colleagues, neighbors, or family members would simply go away. When we honor one another and show respect, even amazement on occasion, our world would be a better place. I, for one, may just make this part of my New Year’s resolution list, adding reverence of all by stopping to THINK before I speak.
Head of School